- 1-lb ground Italian sausage
- 1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
- 1 sweet onion, diced
- 1 green pepper, diced
- 1 red pepper, diced
- 9 eggs, divided
- 1½ cups shredded Havarti cheese
- 10-oz package frozen chopped spinach, thawed & squeezed dry
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- ⅓ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons fresh minced basil, (or 2 teaspoons dried basil)
- 30 sheets phyllo dough, thawed (about 3/4 of a package)
- ¾ cup butter, melted
FROM THE COOKBOOK SHELF
28 Days to Younger Skin (www.robertrose.ca, Toronto Ontario, 2014; $24.95/softback) is a fast-track program designed for people who have a special occasion coming up, such as a wedding, a holiday or any date by which you want to look your best. It can be used to complement your current beauty regime or, if you are having a cosmetic procedure, you can use this program to supply the nutrients in your diet needed to speed up your recovery and enhance your results. It is a 28-day program because it takes that long for your body to produce new cells in the deeper skin, so it’s literally the beginning of a new you by day 28. It also takes about 21 days to form new habits, so by the end of the program you might automatically continue some of your healthy new habits. The program is designed to boost metabolism and supply all the nutrients needed for skin repair, renewal and maintenance. It can also improve your energy and feelings of well-being, and it’s healthy for the whole body. Keep in mind that 28 days is a very short period of time and this program is designed to work fast, so you will have to do some work every day during the 28 days. But the results will be well worth it. Book also includes 50 recipes.
Karen Fisher is an award-winning author, former model and nutritionist. An avid health researcher, she has a passion for finding new, science-based ways to create beautiful skin. Karen believes that the skin’s appearance is one of the main indicators of overall health. For the last decade she has helped hundreds of patients gain beautiful skin and has made it her goal to make nutrition and health interesting and accessible to everyone. The Healthy Skin Diet (Australian edition) was awarded ‘Best Health, Nutrition or Specific Diet Book’ at the Australian Food Media Awards. She is also the author of the 8-week Healthy Skin Diet and The Eczema Diet. Karen lives in Australia.
WHEN TO GO ORGANIC
Organic food as a rule costs more than conventional food but is it worth the extra money? The priority level is highest for fruit and vegetables, according to Urvashi Rangan, PhD., executive director of Consumer Reports’ Food safety and Sustainability Center. Rangan says that rinsing conventional fruit and vegetables doesn’t effectively reduce pesticide residue that are left behind. But organic produce isn’t treated with synthetic fertilizers or most synthetic pesticides in the first place.
Source: Consumer Reports on Health, April 2014.
CURRIED QUINOA WITH CAULIFLOWER
Daughter Mary Ann loves this recipe. Leftovers freeze well for future meals. Quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wa) is relatively new to American supermarkets but the 4th Edition of the Food Lover’s Companion reports it being a staple of the ancient Incas who called it “the mother grain.” It’s considered a complete protein because it contains all essential amino acids. Quinoa is also higher in unsaturated fats and lower in carbohydrates than most grains and provides a rich, balanced source of vital nutrients. It cooks like regular rice but takes half the time. That said, here is the recipe from a blog at whatwouldcathyeat.com.
• 2 tablespoons oil (canola, safflower or olive oil)
• 1 medium onion, chopped
• 3 cloves garlic, minced
• 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
• 1 carrot, cut into 1/2-inch half-moons
• 1 small head of cauliflower, broken into small florets
• 1/4 teaspoon salt or more to taste
• 5 teaspoons curry powder
• 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
• 1 cup water
• 1 cup frozen peas
• 1 cup quinoa (red quinoa recommended but white would be fine, too)
• Plain non-fat yogurt
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Add the onion, garlic and carrot over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add the cauliflower, spices and salt and cook for another minute. Add 1 cup water, then cover and simmer 12 to 15 minutes until vegetables are tender. Add the peas during the last minute of cooking. Meanwhile, cook the quinoa according to package directions. Mix the curried vegetables into the quinoa and serve. Top with nonfat yogurt and toasted slivered almonds.
Ham & Cheese BiscuitsYield: 4 sandwiches
- 1 can refrigerated biscuits
- 1 can smoked ham
- ⅓ cup finely diced onion
- ⅓ cup finely diced mushrooms
- 1-2 tablespoon mayonnaise or butter spread
- salt & pepper, to taste
- 4 slices cheese, (Swiss, American, Co-jack)
BEEF …. IT’S WHAT’S FOR DINNER
If a juicy steak is not in your budget, Chief’s ground beef, the leaner the better, has endless possibilities including the Beef Council’s recipe for Korean Beef Skillet.
KOREAN BEEF SKILLET
• 1 pound 93% lean ground beef
• 2 cups bok choy cut into 1-inch pieces
• 3 cloves garlic, minced
• 1/2 cup Korean barbecue sauce (or your preferred brand)
• 1/4 cup water
• 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
• 1 cup thinly sliced red cabbage
• 1/2 cup fresh bean sprouts
• 1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions
• Hot cooked brown rice or La Choy Chow Mein Noodles Topping (optional):
• Thinly sliced radishes
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot. Add ground beef, bok choy and garlic; cook 8 to 10 minutes, breaking into small crumbles and stirring occasionally. Stir in barbecue sauce, water, red pepper; cook 1 to 2 minutes or until heated through, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Stir in cabbage, bean sprouts and green onion. Let stand 5 minutes. Serve mixture over rice or La Choy Chow Mein Noodles. Recipe makes 4 servings. Note: Be sure ground beef is thoroughly cooked to an internal temperature of 150ºF. Color is not a reliable indicator of doneness.
Source: Adapted from Beef Council recipe.
CAN TOO MUCH COFFEE CAUSE ATRIAL FIBRILLATION?
Too much caffeine may make your heart race, but it’s not likely to cause atrial fibrillation (afib). Rather, regular caffeine intake may lower your risk of afib. In a meta-analysis of six U .S. and Scandinavian studies involving more than 228,500 participants, regular consumption of caffeine in coffee, tea, cola, cocoa or chocolate lowered the incidence of afib by 11-16 percent. The more caffeine that was consumed, the lower the risk, with the incidence of afib dropping 6 percent for every additional 300 mg of caffeine consumed per day. Afib risk increases the presence of atrial fibrosis. The authors of the study, published online January 6, 2014, in the Canadian Journal of Cardiology, suggested that caffeine‘s protective qualities may be due to its antifibrotic properties.
Sourc e: Duke Medicine Health News, April 2014.
NEW FROM LE CREUSET
I could not resist investing in the new stove top 10.25-inch Skinny Grill from Le Creuset, especially since shipping was free at the time of my purchase. Best of all, the regular price for the Skinny Grill is $145.00, but I bought it from Sur la Table’s latest catalog for $79.00. It’s available in several colors including rosemary, Le Creuset’s newest green color that blends well with previous light green pieces. I used it for the first time last night and it cooked a 1-inch thick boneless loin pork chop in less time than it would take had I used my oven broiler or cooked it outside on the grill by indirect heat. Before the pork chop had finished cooking, I added 6 asparagus stalks and they were done in minutes. I mistakenly thought the grill itself had a nonstick finish but it doesn’t. Skinny Grill should also be greased before adding food. Burner temperature should be no higher than medium heat for any grilling. The only negative thing I have to say is the card that came with the grill didn’t have the information about greasing the grill or what the burner temperature should be. This information came from a customer service representative at toll free 1-877-418-5547. Le Creuset products are made in France.
MEATLESS MUSHROOM SOUP FOR LENT
Any recipe that is meatless gets my attention during Lent. Original recipe from the Mushroom Council called for 1-1/2 pounds sliced button mushrooms and 8 ounces of fresh shitake mushrooms, sliced. The latter would have made a soup that only yields 6 cups prohibitive. To keep the price more reasonable, shitake were replaced with 8-ounces of baby bella mushrooms, sliced.
• 2 tablespoons canola oil
• 1 cup chopped sweet onion
• 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
• 2 tablespoons chili powder
• 1 teaspoon ground cumin
• 1-1/2 pounds fresh button mushrooms, sliced
• 8-ounces baby bella mushrooms, sliced
• 1 (14.5-ounce) can stewed tomatoes
• 1 (15.5-ounce) can white kidney beans, rinsed and drained (I prefer Bush brand)
• 1/2 cup sliced ripe olives
• 1/2 cup water
In large saucepan heat oil until hot; add onion. Cook, stirring frequently, until onion is tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic powder, chili powder and cumin; cook until fragrant about 39 seconds. Add button and baby bella mushrooms; cook, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms are crisp-tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Add stewed tomatoes, beans, olives and water. Simmer uncovered, to blend flavors, about 10 minutes. If desired, garnish with chopped lettuce, chopped green onions and reduced-fat shredded sharp Cheddar cheese. Makes 4 servings.
Source: Adapted from Mushroom Council recipe
Easter is less than a week away, and I've got two more fabulous recipes for you to whip up for your Easter celebration! First up - Buffalo Blue Cheese Deviled Eggs. These are a twist on traditional deviled eggs, with a touch of heat and the tang of blue cheese. If you like hot wings, you will love these deviled eggs.To make the deviled eggs, start by cutting all your hard-boiled eggs in half, and removing the yolks to a bowl. Mash the yolks up with a bit of buffalo sauce, chopped pickles, green onions, mayonnaise, and blue cheese. Spoon it back into the egg halves, or get fancy with a ziploc bag and pipe it in. Top them with additional hot sauce and blue cheese for garnish. Second recipe for the day - Compound Herb Butter. This is a super simple way to jazz up your butter to serve with fresh-baked bread. Simple combine softened butter with a combination of minced fresh herbs - basil, thyme, and dill. Add some minced garlic, salt, and pepper, and you've got quite the tasty spread! We spread it on a loaf of Italian bread from the Chief bakery, and it was delicious. It'd be great on dinner rolls, too. Or even on the outside of a grilled cheese sandwich. It also keeps really well in the fridge, for several weeks. Happy wishes for a smooth and stress-free Easter dinner! :) ---
Buffalo Blue Cheese Deviled EggsYield: 20 appetizers
- 10 hard-boiled eggs
- 2 green onions, finely chopped
- ⅓ cup finely chopped dill pickles
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- salt & pepper, to taste
- 1½ tablespoons hot sauce
- ½ cup blue cheese crumbles, divided
Compound Herb ButterYield: 1/2 cup
- ½ cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon fresh basil, finely minced
- 1 teaspoon fresh dill, finely minced
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, finely minced
- ½-¾ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼-½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
WHAT’S NEW AT CHIEF
The product Nutella has been around for ages but now comes Jif’s Salted Caramel Flavored Hazelnut Spread and Hershey Spreads including Chocolate with Hazelnut. Spread on bread or toast, crackers or as a dip for fresh fruit. Yummy! Because I love the salt and sweet combination, I’m partial to the Jif spread. Daughter Mary Ann preferred Hershey because it tasted natural while Jif did not.
One of the newer Dole salad mixes (at least to me) is Very Veggie. Sweet carrots, zesty radishes and pea pods add color and crunch to mild and crispy iceberg and romaine.
Chief’s already large assortment of cheese now includes Wexford Mature Irish Cheddar, a product of Ireland. It may be a getit-while-it-lasts cheese introduced for St. Patrick’s Day but surely worth trying!
WE’RE EATING BETTER, REGARDLESS OF INCOME
It’s not just the recession that’s led to improvements in the US diet, according to a new analysis in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Beyond merely cutting back for pocketbook reasons, Americans are choosing to consume fewer calories and obesity rates are leveling off. The study used sophisticated statistical tools to control for changing economic conditions over the past decade, including unemployment rate and food prices. Calories declined more in beverages than food choices, the study found, and healthier eating trends actually accelerated during the worst of the recession. The new findings align themselves with another recent study by the USDA researchers that found average daily calorie intake among working Americans had dropped 78 calories between 2005 and 2010. That report also showed people using nutrition labels more, eating better at home and eating out less.
Source: Tufts Health & Nutrition Letter, April 2014.
STRENGTHENING MEMORY RETENTION
Finding ways to strengthen or compensate for shortened attention span can help cut down on frustrating memory lapses. Begin by removing barriers to concentration. It’s more difficult to commit information to memory when you’re stressed, emotionally upset, bored or in a negative mood. Physical annoyances, such as uncomfortable temperatures, noise and distractions also make the act of remembering more challenging. When trying to remember something, make an effort to focus and take in more details. Lend meaning to information by thinking about why it is important, organizing it or using visualization, association or mnemonic tricks such as rhymes, acronyms or stories to help retain it. You can also strengthen your powers of attention with games and activities. Play cards, read an article …. then test yourself on the contents or try to remember what you and your friends wore to recent party or luncheon. You can also change your habit patterns. Sit in a different chair to watch TV; take a new route home; rearrange the furniture; try a new restaurant. The trick is to keep your brain active and engaged.
Source: Duke Medicine Health News, April 2014.
BENEFITS OF BLUEBERRIES
The USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University has ranked blueberries as the greatest antioxidant powerhouse out of 40 fresh fruits and vegetables tested. Because of this you should never be without blueberries in some form at home.
Among my cookbook collection is one called The Joy of Blueberries by Theresa Millang published by Adventure Publications in 2003. It is still available from Amazon.com as are Joy of Rhubarb, Cranberries, Raspberries, Strawberries, Apples and Pumpkin! Joy of Blueberries features 200 recipes ranging from bars to soups to ice cream. Trust me, this cookbook is worth buying! So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that this week’s recipe is for Food Network Patrick and Gina Neely’s Blueberry Crisp. I did add an additional 1/2 tablespoon of cornstarch to the recipe so blueberries would be less runny. A few tasters at the Bryan Chief asked if Minute Tapioca could replace cornstarch and I said yes. At home I added a small scoop of Edy’s reduced-fat ice cream.
• 6 cups fresh blueberries, cleaned and air-dried
• 1-1/2 tablespoons cornstarch or 1-1/2 tablespoons Minute
• 1/4 cup sugar
• 1/8 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
• 1/2 cup quick cooking oats
• 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
• 1/4 cup granulated sugar
• 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
• 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
• 3/4 cup chopped pecan
• 1/2 stick room temperature unsalted butter (1/4 cup)
Preheat oven to 375ºF. Toss blueberries, cornstarch or tapioca, sugar and salt together in a bowl. Set aside. To make the topping combine flour, oats, sugars, spices and pecans. Add butter and pinch into chunks or use a pastry blender until crumbly. Add blueberries to a 2-quart oblong baking dish. Top evenly with crumb mixture. Bake for 40 minutes. Serve with a dollop of vanilla ice cream.
Source: Adapted from Patrick and Gina Neely’s recipe.
Roasted Asparagus with Goat CheeseYield: 4-6 servings
- 1 bunch asparagus
- 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
- salt & pepper, to taste
- ⅓ cup balsamic vinegar
- 2-oz crumbled goat cheese
- ⅓ cup candied walnuts or pecans, chopped
APRIL SHOWERS BRING SAVINGS AT CHIEF!
As we get closer to Easter be looking for savings on foods of the season. I already purchased a center cut boneless pork loin when it was on sale. Some members don’t eat ham, so pork loin it is for my family. Ham will surely be on sale. I did notice a Smithfield ham in someone’s cart this past weekend. Smithfield has a distinctive taste. Unfortunately, to me at least, the Smithfield brand that originated in Smithfield, Virginia, was purchased by the Chinese in 2013. Other foods likely to be on sale are eggs and baked goods ingredients for items like hot cross buns. If you don’t want to make them yourself, look for this traditional Holy Week bread at Chief. Note that I always plan menus around sale items …. did it when we were a family of 6 and continue to do it today.
A BERRY GOOD CAKE
I can tell when a recipe is a success when Bryan Chief shoppers buy the ingredients before they leave the store. Some mentioned that it would be a good dessert for Easter brunch or dinner. I agree.
RASPBERRY BUTTERMILK CAKE
• 1 cup unsifted all-purpose flour
• 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
• 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened
• 2/3 cup sugar plus 1-1/2 tablespoons sugar, divided
• 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
• 1 large egg
• 1/2 cup well-shaken buttermilk
• 1 cup fresh raspberries, cleaned and air dried
Preheat oven to 400ºF with rack in the middle. Butter and flour a deep 9-inch cake pan. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Beat butter and 2/3 cup sugar with an electric mixer at medium high speed until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes, and beat in vanilla. Add egg and beat well. At low speed, add flour mixture in 3 batches. Begin and end with flour mixture, alternating with buttermilk. Spoon batter into prepared cake pan, smoothing top. Scatter red raspberries evenly over top and sprinkle with remaining 1-1/2 tablespoons sugar. Bake until cake is golden and a wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 25 to 30 minutes (mine took 25 minutes). Cool in pan on rack for 10 minutes, then turn out on rack and cool 10 to 15 minutes more. Invert onto cake plate. Recipe makes 6 servings.
I can’t tell you how many people ask me what to do with leftover buttermilk saying they end up throwing it away. Because I have had the same problem in the past, use it in mashed potatoes and twice baked potatoes instead of milk. It also makes excellent biscuits, both drop and cut-out ones. Since buttermilk lightens any baked goods, use it for pancakes or recipes such as the Red Raspberry Buttermilk Cake. Another question that you have asked is whether or not it can be frozen. People who drink it won’t like it after it’s thawed but its okay for cooking and baking. Finally we all ask dairy companies why they don’t sell it in pints instead of quart containers and none of us would have a problem as to what to do with leftover buttermilk!
A LENTEN SOUP
Although this soup calls for chicken broth, it can be replaced with vegetable broth during Lent because the other ingredients give it plenty of zip. Add a small swirl of basil pesto and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese to each bowl for an Italian twist.
TOMATO POTATO FLORENTINE SOUP
• 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
• 1 medium onion, chopped
• 2 ribs celery, sliced
• 2 medium carrots, sliced
• 1 (32-ounce) container vegetable broth
• 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes or 1 (26-ounce) jar marinara sauce
• 1 pound russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
• 2 teaspoons dried basil
• Garlic salt and ground pepper to taste
• 3 cups fresh spinach, coarsely chopped
Heat oil in a large saucepan; add onion, celery and carrots and cook 5 minutes to lightly brown. Stir in stick, tomatoes, potatoes and basil. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes. Let cool slightly, then puree in a blender, food processor or emersion stick blender until smooth. Pour back into saucepan and stir in spinach. Cook for a minute or 2 more to wilt the spinach.
Source: Adapted recipe from Potatoes, Goodness Unearthed! (National Potato Council) www.potatogoodness.com